Lead Attorney for Ukraine Whistleblower Donated to Biden
The attorney representing the whistleblower who initiated an investigation into President Donald Trump’s July phone call with the leader of Ukraine has donated to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign, according to federal records.
The Federal Election Commission database shows that on April 26, Andrew Bakaj, founder and managing partner of the Compass Rose Legal Group, donated $100 to the Biden campaign through ActBlue, a nonprofit that allocates contributions to Democratic candidates.
Bakaj and the whistleblower’s co-counsel Mark Zaid are both involved with a group called Whistleblower Aid, which was founded in the first year of the Trump administration with the avowed purpose of representing government employees who come forward to report wrongdoing.
Whistleblower Aid has political connections of its own.
One of the founders of Whistleblower Aid is John Tye, who donated $2,700 to Hillary for America in 2016, the campaign committee of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The issue of political bias in the whistleblower’s claims of inappropriate action on the part of the president became an issue Wednesday in a memo released by the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, according to Fox News.
The memo said the whistleblower’s complaint “does not involve an ‘urgent concern’” and does not require that the director of national intelligence “transmit the complaint to the intelligence committees.”
The memo said that a review of the allegations found “some indications of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate” but also that the allegations in the complaint could be credible. The name of the candidate was not provided.
The whistleblower did not have first-hand knowledge of the July 25 call that is at the center of controversy, and Ukraine has said nothing inappropriate happened during the call. Despite that, the incident has launched a political firestorm on Capitol Hill, with Democrats using it to bolster their case that Trump should be impeached.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division “reviewed the official record of the call and determined, based on the facts and applicable law, that there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted,” according to DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.
She said all “relevant components of the Department agreed with this legal conclusion, and the Department has concluded the matter.”
That led some people to declare the entire matter nothing more than a political smear.
None of what Democrats said happened on the call between @realDonaldTrump & Ukrainian President Zelensky was true. No quid pro quo, no talk of aid, no crimes committed. They moved to impeach yesterday before they even knew the facts.
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) September 25, 2019
1) Having read DOJ’s Trump-Ukraine release, here’s the real story: This is another internal attempt to take out a president, on the basis of another non-smoking-gun.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 25, 2019
On Wednesday, the White House released a transcript of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The transcript shows Trump asking Zelensky to investigate issues raised in 2016 concerning an energy company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The former vice president has said publicly he played a role in ousting the prosecutor but has denied he did so because of his son’s employment with the company.
The issue of the whistleblower’s complaint is expected to arise Thursday when Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies in an open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said House Democrats, who want access to the full complaint made by the whistleblower, want the whistleblower to testify before the panel.
The White House has said it will release a partially redacted version of the complaint.
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